Chapter 152 Shared Secrets
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
The day after playing in the amusement park within our memories with Momoka, and having finished confirming the basics of spatial magic, I headed straight to the laboratory to start developing magical tools using spatial magic. While the concept itself is already in place, there are technically challenging aspects that I alone can’t handle, so I need to ask for Mei’s help.
However, asking Mei for help inevitably means I have to talk to her about spatial magic. If I only think about keeping the secret, I could ask Mei not to inquire about the source, and that would likely solve it. But regarding the matter of the elves, if things proceed smoothly, it’s inevitable that it will eventually become known. Also, considering Mei’s personality, she might only be interested in the kind of magic the elves use, and she probably won’t show much interest in the elves themselves.
So, it should be fine to talk about it now as well. Moreover, coming from the perspective of the Duke’s daughter, Mei might offer unique insights, so it’s actually a welcome opportunity to increase the number of people who can keep the secret and provide their opinions.
Having made up my mind to reveal the secret to Mei, I knocked on the door of the laboratory.
”Neil? Please come in.”
Upon receiving Mei’s response, I took a deep breath, slowly opened the door, and stepped into the laboratory.
”Hey there, Neil. Has it been a while—or maybe not so much?”
”In my perception, it feels like quite a while, but how long has it been?”
”It’s been about two weeks since you said ‘I can’t focus on experiments’ and stopped coming here.”
”Should I say it’s already been two weeks or that it’s still been two weeks? I’m a bit confused.”
Unable to get the matter of Viscount Hedmar out of my mind, I haven’t entered the laboratory for about two weeks since I couldn’t concentrate on my experiments. Especially in the past few days, I’ve been troubled by the quality of crops, then I got involved in the task of bringing up three women with Moona-san’s request. I was also invited to the elf village, entrusted with a magic book related to spatial magic, and learned the truth about Ihoumono from the divine tree. These events have made my sense of time rather distorted.
”Anyway, coming here means you’ve resolved the issue that was bothering you?”
”No, I haven’t resolved it. Even before that, a different issue came up, or rather, something I have to do. I want to borrow your help, Mei.”
”Are you planning to develop something with my assistance?”
Mei seems to be expecting me to do something unusual again. With excitement in her eyes, she raised the corners of her mouth and asked me.
”So, what kind of thing are you planning to create this time?”
”I’m sorry to disappoint your expectations, but this time I’m just going to rework something I developed in the past.”
”Oh, is that so? What exactly are you going to remake?”
”It’s an Item Box.”
The Item Box was the magical tool that became the starting point of my acquaintance with Mei. It’s a memorable magical tool that we jointly developed for the first time.
During my journey to the elf village, I also told Lewya about it. Somehow, news of my development of magical tools using teleportation magic reached the emperor’s ears. Perhaps due to my desperate explanations, the emperor permitted continued development with significant restrictions. My life was hanging by a thread.
However, the rumors about me, who dared to break the taboo of creating magical tools using teleportation magic, spread throughout the empire, mostly malicious ones. I still vividly remember that time. In the midst of these rumors, it was because of the emperor’s direct permission that I couldn’t stop the development myself. At that time, mentally cornered as I was by these circumstances, Mei came bursting into my life.
”‘I want to join in because it sounds interesting’—when you suddenly entered my laboratory like that, your first words were that.”
”Well, what can you do? If His Majesty permits it, it’s a rare opportunity to develop magical tools using teleportation magic within legal boundaries. I can’t just let that chance slip away, can I?”
”Well, maybe you should have started with a greeting before barging into someone else’s laboratory.”
Well, because of the rumors, I was emotionally strained at the time. Mei’s presence, always interacting with me at her own pace without caring about those rumors, became a source of support for me. If it weren’t for Mei, I probably wouldn’t have been able to complete the Item Box. I think Mei’s personality was really beneficial.
”But still, an Item Box… Even if you try to modify it, what’s your plan? There are still significant limitations on developing magical tools using teleportation magic.”
”Remember when we first met? Do you recall that I actually explained that I wanted to create such magical tools?”
”I remember. It was something like ‘I want to create a magical tool that can store items in a separate space.’ I also remember that I replied with ‘It’s impossible without spatial magic.’ But to think…”
”That ‘to think’ is correct.”
”Wait a moment, how are you planning to create such a magical tool? Even after developing the Item Box, we discussed and came up with several improvement ideas, but we concluded that it’s impossible to achieve in the end.”
This seems to be the right time to bring it up. Holding the book of spatial magic in one hand, I raise it to the level of my face and then reveal the secret I’ve been hiding.
”The day before yesterday, I borrowed a magic book on spatial magic from the elves, and I experimented with it yesterday. I found out that I can use spatial magic. So, I came here today to incorporate it into a magical tool.”
Finishing my explanation in one breath, I take a slow deep breath to calm my racing heart. On the other hand, Mei, who had just been bombarded with various secrets without any preparation, seemed frozen for a while. But after some time, her brain seemed to finish processing, and she started throwing questions at me one by one.
”…Neil, I have several questions, but can I ask one thing before I ask them?”
”Sure, what is it?”
”Are you sane?”
”That’s the point where you’re supposed to ask, ‘Is it true?’”
I never expected to be questioned about my sanity before my joke was questioned.
”I am sane, and I’m not joking. I’m being completely serious about everything I’ve said.”
”I see… Well then, let me ask my questions again. Have you met an elf?”
”Yes, and not long after coming to this settlement.”
”Before I even arrived… Could it be Lewya?”
”Huh—why would you think that?”
”It’s not particularly strange. Among the people in the settlement, only Lewya’s identity and purpose here aren’t clear. If I hear that you’ve been meeting with elves since before I arrived, it naturally leads to that conclusion.”
Oh no, I only intended to talk about the existence of the elves and spatial magic. I didn’t plan to reveal that Lewya is an elf. But there’s no point in trying to hide it now.
”…Yes, Lewya is an elf.”
”I knew it, the name also sounded unfamiliar, and it explained why her general knowledge seemed oddly lacking. But, an elf… an elf…”
Repeating that Lewya is an elf in an odd manner, Mei covers her face with both hands and hangs her head.
”Hey, what’s wrong?”
”What’s wrong? You’re asking me that? Neil, I thought Lewya was just your servant in the settlement, and she was your lover. So, I have misunderstood and seen her as a rival, then I exploded in front of you. Are you seriously asking me about this?”
”Oh, um, sorry.”
Apologizing reflexively to Mei’s intense reaction, I remember that I had indeed entertained such a misunderstanding. Right, now that the truth is out, it must be because she realized how far off the mark she was and couldn’t bear the embarrassment.
”Haah… What a foolish story. If my family were to find out about this…”
”I don’t think you need to worry about that. Only Diana and I know about this, and that’s it.”
”I know that. But… Ugh…!”
Whether she was deeply embarrassed or not, Mei continued to squirm for a while, even to the point where the alchemical cauldron, which had been heated all this time, overflowed. After cleaning up the spilled contents from the cauldron together, Mei regained her composure and resumed asking questions.
”Alright, continuing with the questions, but before that, was it okay for you to tell me about Lewya’s true identity? Did you get her consent?”
Before I explain that, I explain to Mei about the deal I made with the elves.
”So, because of that, the decision of when and with whom to disclose the existence of the elves is up to me. Regarding Lewya, she told me to leave it to my judgment.”
”I see, as long as it’s not a problem, that’s good. Now, for the question. When you went to the forest with Lewya the day before yesterday, was it to receive that magic book?”
”No, I was called by the elf elder to discuss the deal. At that time, I didn’t even know that there was someone skilled in spatial magic among the elves, and I never thought that there would be a magic book related to spatial magic in the elf village.”
”So, the idea of creating a magical tool using spatial magic was something that occurred to you on the spot.”
”Well, yes, but the concept of using a separate space for the Item Box was already there from a long time ago. And since I found out that the elves can use spatial magic, I’ve been thinking about it all along. But I never thought it would become a negotiation point with His Majesty.”
”Next question, I heard that spatial magic is an extremely difficult magic to master, and its high difficulty is the reason it became a lost magic. Did you learn it the day after borrowing the magic book?”
”It’s not so much about high difficulty, but rather about requiring a special talent to master. If you have that talent, the difficulty isn’t that high. It seems to be a rather rare talent, so in reality, they probably couldn’t find many suitable individuals, leading it to become lost magic.”
”So, you had that talent, Neil. But what kind of talent is needed to use spatial magic?”
”I don’t know the specifics, but it seems the color of your soul is significant.”
”Color of the soul? What’s that? I’ve never heard of souls having colors. What color is yours?”
Oh no, I ended up explaining up to this point in the flow, but how should I explain this? If Mei sees that my magical power has a reddish hue when I use spatial magic for magical tool development, it would raise questions.
The usual story was that it was a slightly bluish-white, but explaining the true reason would lead to inconsistencies with the color of my magical power, and she would ask why.
”Um, the basic color is white, but it can be blue or red for different people, and the shades of color can also vary.”
I was in a dilemma, not wanting to lie but also not revealing the complete truth. I opted for a subtle explanation that wasn’t entirely false.
”Oh, I see. Souls have colors like that. Does the difference in color have any significance?”
”I’m not sure. I haven’t heard about that. At least, it doesn’t seem relevant to using spatial magic.”
If I ever return to the elf village, I might ask the Divine Spirit Tree about it. However, due to the circumstances, I probably won’t be able to share that information with Mei. Still, I’m curious personally, so I might inquire if the opportunity arises.
”I see… Well, I guess most of my questions have been answered now. I understand why you want to develop a magical tool and what kind of item you want to create, so I’m willing to help.”
”I appreciate that. In that case, let’s get started—”
And so, by sharing some secrets and keeping some hidden, Mei and I begin the development of the magical tool. Initially, I felt guilty about it, but as we exchanged ideas, the guilt gradually faded away. As I became engrossed in magical tool development after a long time, any remaining guilt disappeared completely.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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